Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers-
It’s Halloween aka costume day! As a believer, I do not celebrate Halloween. However, my timeline is full of cute pictures of little munchkins in costume. As I was sitting in meditation, I started thinking about the concepts of masks and monsters. Halloween is all about dressing up, eating candy and all things spooky. This causes children to dress up as monsters, zombies and to cover their beautiful faces with masks as they play pretend. However, what if we were pretending every day besides today?
Think about it. When was the last time you felt the freedom to be who you really are? I mean the “real” you. I think that we wear masks all the time. When someone asks us how we are, we lie and say we are good. When we ask someone how they are, we hope they will lie because we don’t have the time or capacity to handle their truth. We are a society that encourages pretend. Heck, we have a whole holiday dedicated to this very concept. Being oneself is less favorable, but becoming like the ones we admire is encouraged. Everyone wants to be the next influencer. Everyone wants to have the most traffic on IG. Everyone wants to appear to be living their best life. These ideals create monsters, emotionally unstable members of society that cannot communicate truthfully what they desire. It’s hard, to tell the truth when you’ve committed to your fantasy. It’s easier to ignore red flags when you’re dedicated to the lie. Our love for masks has created monsters.
“Well Simone, that’s a little harsh.” Yes, it is. Just because something is harsh does not make it less true. The more I live, the more I see the epidemic of inauthenticity. It is a disease to hide oneself to please those who did not create you. Dishonesty is like cancer, it destroys originality. We were created in the image of God, each beautiful and unique. We were given “difference” as a superpower, a weapon against a world system built on conformity. Why are we conditioning ourselves to forfeit our superpower? Our weapon? To pretend to be something we were never designed to be. For the longest, I believed the lie that being myself was not enough, but the more I step into who I am the freer I become. Authenticity and radical honesty bring a level of freedom that’s dangerous to our world. So, loves you must stay dangerous!
Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers –
Why do we stay in awful situations? This is the question that I woke up pondering. Why do we stay with emotionally, mentally and physically abusive people? Why do we submit ourselves to toxic unhealthy church environments? Why do we settle into office cultures that break our spirits? Why do we hold onto friends that don’t have our best interest at heart? Why do we stay even when God gives us a way out, time and time again? Why?!?!?!
I think the culture feeds us this lie that if we endure through something even though it is harmful to us then we are strong. We label strength to the one who succumbs to emotional abuse and like a badge of honor, we celebrate those who submit to dysfunction. We can see our sis or bro dying on the inside and express how proud we are of them for sticking it out. How dumb is that? To be proud of a group of people for accepting poor treatment in their lives. We admire the woman who suffers before she is loved well. We celebrate the toxic leaders who berate their staff but then grow into humility. We applaud the boss who realizes that he’s been a jerk yet refuses to give an apology for the previous bad behavior. It is in the fabric of our society to stay in things out of the name of “loyalty” and the persevering spirit of “never giving up“.
Well, Friends, loyalty to dysfunction is unhealthy. Loyalty for loyalty’s sake is not enough for emotional wellness. Loyalty to bad behavior is not admirable and anything that destroys esteem should not be celebrated. To be loyal is defined as giving and showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or institution. To whom or what are we loyal to? Why? If we are giving and showing firm and constant support to abusive people, do we believe the abuse will eventually cease? If we are financially supporting organizations that have no integrity, should we be disappointed when we learn of the misappropriation of funds? If we are holding down relationships that are not built on truth, should we stick it out in hopes that our partner will become all that we’ve imagined? Nah. Loyalty is not a prison and faithfulness does not give some the right to abuse time, energy and emotional wherewithal.
I was once a believer in blind loyalty. I was “all in” and submitted myself to people, places and things that harmed me. I stayed with a man who emotionally abused me for years. I made excuses for his bad behavior. I defended the ways he hurt me. I always resolved in my heart that he did what he did because I did something wrong. In my mind, he held no responsibility for his actions towards me. I excused his lying, I excused his inconsistency, and I excused his sly comments and his ample way of making me believe that I was never enough. I turned a blind eye and stayed with him off and on for SEVEN years. Why the heck would I do that? Because I was strong? Because I was brave enough to stay? No. I wasn’t strong, I was weak. I was weak in esteem. I was weak in self-love. I was weak. I wasn’t brave, I was afraid. I was a coward looking for that which was easy, that which was comfortable and it costs me years. The bravest thing I did was leave and that my dear should be applauded.
In year three, I should have left.